USOC Makes Selection

NEW YORK The United States Olympic Committee has hired mcgarrybowen to develop a brand positioning and advertising for the “U.S. Olympic movement,” the client said.

The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based USOC hired the New York independent after a review involving four or five agencies, said sources. The other contenders could not immediately be ascertained.

Estimated billings are $15-20 million.

Mcgarrybowen is expected to create a logo and both traditional and nontraditional advertising. Its first work will break later this year and continue into 2008, when the Summer Olympics are held in Beijing.

The agency’s chief creative officer, Gordon Bowen, previously worked as a creative advisor to the Winter Olympics that took place in Salt Lake City in 2002. At the time, Bowen was a freelance creative director and he helped develop the theme, “Light the Fire Within,” for the games.

“Mcgarrybowen has developed memorable and impactful creative for some of America’s most iconic brands,” said USOC chief marketing officer Jim Grice. “That experience, coupled with their passion for the Olympic movement, makes them the right partner to bring our new brand positioning to life.”

The USOC’s agency appointment comes as four shops await a decision from the International Olympic Committee in its global creative review.

The finalists for that account are WPP Group’s Sra. Rushmore United in Madrid, Spain; Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in London and Toronto; Havas’ Havas Sport in Paris; and the incumbent, Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi in New York.

The winning shop’s work will run on worldwide TV networks that have the rights to air the games. The networks donate $120 million in media time as part of their deal with the IOC.